The perfect trout rod means something different to everyone. You want something that is delicate enough to lay down small flies and light tippets, but strong enough to throw a double nymph rig, cut through the wind, and fight big fish. You also want something that is sensitive enough to feel every head shake of the fish you’re fighting.
Photo courtesy of R.L. Winston
Is this perfect trout rod hard to find? Yes. But impossible? No. Enter the R.L. Winston Boron III X (B3X) series of rods.
These rods feature Boron technology, which makes the rods more powerful at distance, stronger and more sensitive than traditional graphite rods. Winston designed the B3X rods to be the ultimate all around fly rod. What does that mean for you, the angler? It means this is the rod to throw dry flies, nymphs and streamers in all kinds of conditions.
The B3X is a fast action rod that can generate high line speeds and can cast long distances. That being said, it excels at close range as well. It is a very versatile rod, allowing you lots of options to cover any fishing situation. It is available in 3 through 10 weight models in both fresh and saltwater options. Check out Winston's latest video, featuring the Boron III X at work for winter dry fly fishing:
All this technical talk is fine and good, but how does the rod actually fish on the water?
Personally, I have fished several models and weights of this rod and am proud to be the owner of two of them. In the trout weights (4-6) I don’t think there is a finer rod available anywhere that can do as much as the B3X. I have a 9’ 6” 6-weight that is one of the finest nymphing rods I have ever fished. The extra length allows me lots of power to mend long drifts, and I can throw everything from size 18 midges to four inch long streamers. I’ve also fished this rod in all kinds of conditions from the Puget Sound for Sea Run Cutthroat to technical dry fly fishing on the Missouri to throwing big streamers on the Yellowstone.
The B3X 9’ 4wt and 9’ 5wt are ideal rods for dry fly fishing in the technical fisheries of the Missouri or the spring creeks. Last summer I spent a lot of time during the Trico and PMD hatches on the Missouri casting a 9’ 5wt B3X and it was perfect for the job. Light in the hand and accurate at the long distances needed by the river, it was still powerful enough to cut through the afternoon breeze that can be pretty stiff up there at times.
Photo by Jake McGlothlin
One of my favorite things about Winston rods is how they feel. It’s difficult to really explain it in writing, but the B3X just feels like a fly rod should. You can feel everything. The rod loading, what the line is doing, every tick and bump of your fly, every head shake of the fish. It feels alive. I’ve taken to calling this a “Winston-y” feeling. It’s really quite amazing.
If you want to see what all the hype is about stop by the shop and cast one of the Boron III X rods for yourself. Be forewarned though… You’ll want one afterwards.
Photo courtesy of R.L. Winston